Dublin-based artist Jonny Climax takes influences from traditional and contemporary hip-hop and R’n’B. This track sounds like a class hip-hop anthem, one that triggers powerful nostalgic ’90s vibes.
O Emperor- Make It Rain
The Cork-based alt-rock five-piece have re-emerged and are set to release a string of new music this year. The first release is a delightful mix of afro-disco, funk, soul, and jolly vocals, the perfect ingredients to put you in a hazy groove.
18-year-old Dublin native Joseph McGuirk or Janksy makes music from his bedroom and is building a following for himself on Soundcloud. This track has a certain Gorillaz-esque vibe to it. More from Jansky is on the way this year.
Winter Aid – The Dance
This is Shane Culloty or Winter Aid’s first release from his forthcoming EP Halfland.
“It’s about a few things, but revolves around the way our concept of home changes, as we move and settle somewhere new: the strange feeling of moving past what you thought home was and loving it anew from a distance.”
Brigid Mae Power – Don’t Shut Me Up (Politely)
This track from Galway-based Brigid Mae Power’s new EP The Two Worlds deals with such issues as women being suppressed in society, featuring haunting vocals and lyrics that are fused by emotive guitar riffs and drum beats.
Ciaran Lavery – To Chicago
Northern Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery’s latest track is from his forthcoming third album Sweet Decay which will be released on April 13th. The track is an upbeat, catchy and honest acoustic love song.
Irish musician Shane Culloty aka Winter Aid has released a video for new song ‘Within’ from his new album Murmur of the Land which came out earlier this year.
The video was directed by Kevin McGloughlin showing visuals from 1980’s Ireland mixed with the modern day, taking you on a journey from the past into the future.
‘I wanted to represent an impression of Ireland moving from a religious society into a secular society, with ideas of moving into a ‘virtual society’. Looking at rural Ireland in the 80s apposed to present day Ireland is hardly recognisable. We live on our phones and in our screens. I wanted to suggest this in the video.’
It was no major surprise that someone who was thoughtful in writing about music as Shane Culloty would be able to turn his hand to writing reflective music in the vein of the music featured on The Torture Garden site but it is not a given. Many have not veen able to translate their love of something to making it. Since Shane first released music as Winter Aid in 2013, his debut song ‘ The Wisp Sings’ went on to gather 8 million streams with the majority of those on Spotify through high-profile playlists.
‘The Night is an Ocean’ is the first Winter Aid song since that era, a gentle folk track, from an upcoming album The Murmur Of The Land out on April 28th on Bluestack Records, produced by Darragh Nolan (Sacred Animals).
“This song came out of a few difficult weeks, and I think you can hear that. There’s a lot in there about how you can be stuck with what’s in your own head, and how someone else can get you past it. The lyrics swing wildly between homespun and overwrought scenes, but in the end all is calm and as it should be.”
The beaut of a video was directed by Aneel Neupane of Kathmandu’s Jazz Productions, and was filmed in Gosaikunda in Nepal.
Of The Murmur Of The Land, Culloty says the release is: An album of songs about love and isolation, depression and recovery, The Murmur of the Land ties everything together around a central question: what do people do when faced with something – love, loss, fear – they can’t understand? And what stories do they tell to make sense of it all?
It is eight years to the day since I first wrote about music on Nialler9, the first post being Kraftwerk’s Minimum Maximum live album. There were those who were doing it before me of course, and in Ireland, Shane Culloty with his site The Torture Garden, cultivated a beautifully-written, well-versed destination for indie music and became synonymous with the American indie-rock on particular: Sufjan Stevens, DM Stith, Parenthetical Girls and Final Fantasy.
Serendipitously, I received an email from Shane this morning saying that he’s been making music of his own, not just writing about it. Any fears that it could have been an awkward correspondence, or as Shane called it “a bit weird”, a blogger hitting up another blogger for coverage of their music, was quickly allayed by the pressing play on the excellent first track ‘The Wisp Sings’ from Shane’s new musical project, Winter Aid.
Watch the beautiful video by Joey Bania for the piano-ballad track. It’s always weird to hear someone you’ve talked to in real life sing for the first time but his voice is well suited to this kind of indie-folk atmospherics.
The debut Winter Aid EP features three tracks that move beyond that song’s gentle disposition with the guitar-lead ‘Within’ revelling in twinkling synthesizer outro. ‘Wives’ is a swirl of chamber piano keys and beats. It’s out today on Bluestack Records via Bandcamp for just €2. Buying it would be a nice way to say thanks for all the blog posts as well as this impressive new musical venture.